What can I say. I WILL show those spring flowers I keep mentioning, but first it seems more timely to share images of the maple syrup operation I was privileged to visit with my toddler granddaughter on Thursday morning, in southern Vermont. Did I mention that this wonderful couple also has baby lambs and their moms, all in a small barn? And that they grow Christmas trees, which sadly I did not have time to see? It was a beautiful day in so many ways. And fun, with delicious pea soup for our lunch. Thank you, Betsy, thank you, Don, thank you, sheep families and all the seeping maple trees.
|the sugar house, with wood behind, ready to be used for heating the sap from multiple maple trees|
|This operation is modern and efficient - taps are hammered into the trees, with tubing attached for the run-off to travel to the metal tub.|
|checking to see if the sap is running -- after a cold night and a warming day|
Now inside the sugar house. The holding tank is up behind the red bar. The raw syrup goes first to the left hand tank and then to the one on the right, as it thickens up and the excess water boils off.
The final filtering is done in the smaller tank, a corner of which is on the left of the photo. When in operation, these tanks and the fire below have to have someone paying attention all the time to make sure there are no mishaps. Also, of course, the fire below has to be fed wood in order to maintain an even temperature.
|Notice the blue tubing above the stone wall....|
|The tubing goes along the road, all the way to the driveway (before the last tree seen on the road), where the sugar house is.|
Then walking down the hill over glorious MUD: